Posted by: Kate | March 20, 2012

The Heralding of Spring

Another sure sign that spring is coming – skunk cabbage!

Anytime you’re around standing water on this island, you can be sure that skunk cabbage is near by. Later in the season the plant is dominated by giant green leaves (some of the largest plant leaves in the coastal forest), but in March it is the beautiful yellow flowers that are rising out of the muck.

Some people find the smell off-putting, but I actually like it. It is real, and wild, and full of the whisper of spring!



  1. We had skunk cabbage where we lived in the Kootenays. i loved it – it was such a sign of hope that spring really would be there soon!

  2. Ah, certainly is a sign of spring in the forest! I must admit to liking skunk cabbage only when it is at this stage…the beautiful little yellow flowers. And the smell? I notice it but wouldn’t say it is off-putting.

  3. You taught me about skunk cabbage last year when they were all over Oregon! I didn’t notice the smell but perhaps it had abated by the time I drove by (about this time last year!).

  4. Can’t say that I’ve ever smelled skunk cabbage. I’m not sure if there is skunk cabbage in Alberta. Since moving to the Okanagan, I’m amazed every single day of the variety of lush plants, trees, flowers!

    The yellow flowers of the skunk cabbage are very spring-like, lovely! I wonder if one could make cabbage rolls? ha ha, I’m only partly kidding. Mmmm cabbage rolls!

  5. “beautiful yellow flowers rising up out of the muck”
    sounds like the title of a maya angelou poem.

    thanks for sharing kate!

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